I don't even remember the first time I saw him...
But it was somewhere north of a place called Long Bien
He had been there about a week longer than me
And we were both new in Vietnam you see

We were placed together in the same platoon
Then buddy to buddy, side by side, we shared the monsoon
He was from Arkansas and I from Kentucky
And because of this we considered ourselves lucky

Everyday we searched the jungle, one behind the other
And every night we laid down underneath our wet cover
We became close and often talked of things at home
For we were two buddies fighting a war, it seemed, alone

It wasn't long until Christmas and then New Year's came
The sun was hot all the time, and there was no rain
He read my letters from home and I read his
But we both knew it wasn't going to be peaceful like this

Our company set out to patrol late one day
But the enemy followed us all the way
Then our company stopped and sat down to rest
That's when an enemy's bullet hit Rex in the chest

I laid down to sleep that night in early January
But something was wrong, Rex wasn't there
I laid there and cried for my buddy all alone
And prayed for his family, 10,000 miles back home

Now, as I stand and look at his grave
I can still remember the company he gave
Rex was happy, even unto his death
And the war goes on and it hasn't stopped yet...

Earl Wayne Wilder, February 10, 1972
I received an email the other day from Wanda Wilder Robbins.
Wanda’s email was requesting a correction of her brother‘s
name on Charlie Company‘s web site, and the email also
included a poem below, by her older brother, a Vietnam
veteran. Wanda’s brother was the late Earl Wayne Wilder, of
Charlie Company's 1st Platoon. Wanda’s email went on to
provide me with some interesting details about her beloved big
brother. In the email Wanda described the following . . . Earl
Wayne developed a close friendship with a fellow squad
member named Rex Blissard. The two initially met when Rex
was assigned to the 1st Platoon. The two soon wound up
spinning stories about back home as they sat around the
foxhole they shared, on the warm still nights .Earl Wayne was
from Kentucky, and Rex from Arkansas, and each was proud
to say so. It seems that a good thing, including close
friendships, never last too long - - Rex was killed on January 9,
1969. The following day, on the 10th, Earl Wayne was
seriously wounded, by a B-40 rocket, in a major firefight.
When Earl Wayne returned to the states he completed college,
and became a parole officer for the state of Kentucky. Earl
Wayne and his friend Rex, two young men from the south,
made each other a promise in Vietnam. They made the pledge
that if one of them made it back home, and the other one did
not, the survivor would visit the others family. Earl Wayne was
very loyal to his buddies, and never forgot his friend Rex. So just
as soon as Earl was able to travel, he and his wife made the nearly
900 mile trip to northwestern Arkansas to visit with Rex's family
and to see his good friend's grave. Earl Wayne would make the
long journey to northeast Arkansas one more time and then he
learned that Rex's mother had died. Earl Wayne hung a picture
of Rex in the living room, and dared anyone to touch it. He never
quite got over Rex’s death. Earl Wayne Wilder was killed in an
auto accident on August 15, 19828. Earl Wayne was not killed in
Vietnam, but Vietnam still killed him.

Thank you, Wanda Wilder Robbins
John Guillory, Webmaster,